Monday, August 27, 2012

More summer thoughts

Calder race

The Calder race should be interesting. While NY scrutiny probably has led to Chris Kreider becoming the preseason favorite, I think he's one of the longer shots among players "on the radar." I'm guessing it'll take more than 20 goals and 50 points to win it. Rick Nash, Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, and Ryan Callahan I'm sure will hit that mark (if healthy), and Derek Stepan seems like a decent bet. Six 20-50 players is an awful lot. Don't think Kreider makes it.

So which other forwards are out there?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Steve Yzerman is a good GM

I think he takes undeserved flak sometimes.

Monday, August 6, 2012

An Island of Misfit Toys

I haven't seen anyone actually try to create Marc Crawford's idea of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

I'm considering the guys criticized for intangibles and consistency, of course, but also those who are massively undervalued (often because being overpaid is equated with being flat-out bad). I'll admit there's plenty of guesswork since I'm not exactly dialed into what GMs think, so I'll go off what I hear in the media and around the internet.

I'll also include guys who are still FA (except Shane Doan).

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Summer thoughts

Dominic Moore. I think the optimal line combinations for this team have Laich on Ribeiro's wing. Ribeiro doesn't put up giant relative plus-minus ratings, which means that for all the offense he gets you, well, he gives a lot of it back at the other end. I think a huge reason why Laich looked so good in 10-11 was being able to do what he does best--play defense, get the puck, and then speed into the play--and leave the possession game over the rest of the ice to Semin and Carlzner.

I don't think Ribeiro is as good a 5v5 complement to Laich as Semin was in 10-11 (or good at fives, period, for that matter), but Ribeiro and a guy like Wolski and Chimera plus the D support could easily be better support than Semin, the possession zero 2C of the day, and young Carlzner. But without Laich, I think that line could be dangerously close to being a liability on the ice, scoring a lot but being outscored themselves. Ribeiro is not getting any younger, after all.

That's where Dominic Moore can help. He can play the same role Laich did last year (taking a little less ice time in all situations, though). He can push Laich up the depth chart, into a role where he's the only defensive specialist and not the only capable forward offensively (like he was with Ward and Chimera).

You could do worse than Brooks Laich at 3C. But I think overall, Moore at 3C and Laich at 2LW is better than, say, Chimera at 2LW and Laich at 3C.

I don't think McPhee is looking to add a forward, given that the team has 13 already and has largely been adding depth. But if you add Moore and trade a fourth-liner for something like "future considerations," well, I'd call that a net win.